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It's time to get a digital assistant. Right here's why.

Companies are increasingly turning to virtual assistant technology to improve the customer experience

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December
4, 2020

4 min read

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

Let's face it: Gen Z and Millennials' hottest target market (and everything that comes after) is all about instant gratification. The need for speed in all aspects became a human right as they were born and raised in the age of the internet and the ever-connected world.

Thanks to intelligent devices with internet access, you literally have the whole world in your hand. Questions are answered in a flash. Orders are placed within seconds. People talk on the phone more than three hours a day, and thanks to chatbots and virtual assistants, unnecessary waiting times for basic customer inquiries are avoided.

A short course on developing virtual assistants

Before we talk about virtual assistants, we must pay homage to the 1940s secretaries who used their typewriters to perform various tasks. Over time, telephones and fax machines have broken down time and distance barriers, thereby deepening secretarial and customer service functions. The term “virtual help” made way at the end of the 1990s and was further revolutionized by the widespread introduction of the Internet. Once the Internet came into the picture (for the general public), virtual assistants began to serve more as administrative assistants and customer service agents who worked from home.

Related: Virtual Assistants and 14 Easy Ways to Make Extra Money at Home

Artificial intelligence came into play in the 2010s and quickly managed to disrupt almost every industry imaginable. In the area of ​​virtual support, this disruption manifested itself in the form of chatbots, which quickly became a hit for many reasons. For starters, there was little learning curve thanks to their familiar conversational interface, which in most cases was built into the most popular messaging apps like WeChat, Slack, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram. For the most part, the conversations with these bots could hardly be distinguished from the conversations with their personal contacts.

Chatbots combined classic virtual support with real customer service and provided answers to frequently asked questions quickly and frequently using machine learning technology. As the technology developed, it also helped in various other ways, e.g. B. in the integration of new customers (as with apps like Lemonade) and in product discovery for online purchases (with products like Syte).

Virtual assistance has recently increased its stakes through the integration of blockchain technology, as in the case of VAIOT based in Malta. VAIOT combines artificial intelligence with blockchain to create new opportunities for digital access to services and the secure conclusion of legal agreements via a natural user interface. It serves as a personal assistant providing AI-based services to the insurance industry.

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The company recently added intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) to its portfolio that leverage the power of IBM Watson on the IBM Cloud. The first round of IVAs is helping insurance and InsurTech companies create intelligent sales and customer service channels. VAIOT also provides an intelligent sales channel for services that enables companies to adapt to modern customers by providing a new way of accessing services.

It's also worth noting that voice-controlled virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa grew in popularity and adoption in parallel with the chatbots. The difference, however, is that these smart assistants are mostly domestic while VAIOT aims to serve businesses.

Related Topics: Is A Virtual Assistant The Secret To Keeping Your Small Business Alive?

Virtual assistants have to be part of technological change

It is not for nothing that companies of all sizes have integrated virtual assistant technology. They are quickly becoming the business standard for the following reasons:

The interfaces are simple and make basic customer interactions / transactions a breeze

It serves as an inexpensive means of delivering an optimized customer experience as it saves customers waiting times to reach an agent and saves time for busy employees who can better focus on more sensitive requests that require more attention

The technology, for what it is, is relatively inexpensive and very quick to implement

As entrepreneurs create new and innovative ways to make company-wide technological changes in the post-pandemic world, it is wise to consider incorporating virtual assistance into the customer experience as well, to ensure they are at the forefront of technology. This would also make the company much more accessible to the target market and gain relevance in an increasingly digital world.

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